Report: Wealthy Colorado School Districts Get Cash Meant For Poor Students

June 3, 2016

A new report says poor students in some Colorado school districts are being short changed.

It says some wealthy districts actually receive more federal money intended for poor students than districts with high levels of poverty. 

Data compiled by US News and World Report says the Aspen School District has a 5 percent child poverty rate and gets about a $1,000 per student in Title 1 money. That’s the federal money spent to help close the achievement gap for low-income students.

Yet the La Veta School District in southern Colorado - with 40 percent poverty rate - gets half that amount per student. The report blames a complicated and, some say, outdated funding formula.  

Douglas County, which has the lowest child poverty rate in the state, receives about the same in total Title 1 dollars as the Sheridan district southwest of Denver, which has the highest child poverty rate in Colorado.

The report comes amid a national debate over how to equalize funding across public schools. 

Nationally, the analysis found more than $2.6 billion of the program's $15 billion ends up in districts that are wealthier on average.

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